Iberian Sights

Barcelona/Madrid/Consuegra/Cordoba/Seville/Marbella/Granada, Spain. 

Gibraltar, British Overseas Territories. [November 2015]

Spain, especially as one delves deeper south into its Andalusian soul, is hard to sum up in words. In 8 days I remember being:

  • Mesmerized by a dazzling performance at La Casa del Flamenco in Seville, the frenzied tapping of shoes and piercing songs of sorrow leaving an indelible mark within;
  • Stuffed to the neck by plates after plates of delicious tapas, from the ubiquitous Jamon Iberico to bowls of velvety gazpacho;
  • Captivated by the endless variations of moorish architecture and designs, from the Seville alcazar to the Mezquita Cordoba to Alhambra;
  • Fascinated by the instant switch from Spanish to British culture across the air strip-delineated border of Gibraltar, where red phone booths and barbary masque monkeys greeted us;
  • Enlightened while strolling through the halls of the Prado, Reina Sofia, and Royal Palace of Madrid to appreciate some of the finest art the Western world has ever produced…

…and all the luggage-across-cobblestoned-streets-dragging and eight-cities-in-a-week-rushing and sixteen-hours-and-900-miles-driving and mentally-and-physically-exhausting moments. But that’s just a postscript in the ever grander adventure of seeing it all.

Barcelona – Spanish soil, Catalan soul

DNXB dongnanxibei Barrio Gotico Carrer del Bisbe Bridge Barcelona Spain Travel Nikon
Carrer del Bisbe in the Gothic District
A soulful harpist in Barri Gòtic
Sunset views of Sagrada Familia,from Casa Mila Rooftop

Madrid – Artistic history, royal grandeur

Dramatic clouds over Palacio Real
DNXB dongnanxibei Madrid Tapas Mercado San Miguel Spain Travel Nikon
Tapas on the cheap (1 EUR) at Mercado del San Miguel
Storm troopers take over Reina Sofia

Consuegra- Don Quixote fought, windmills won

DNXB dongnanxibei Morlno Rucio Consuegra Don Quixote La Mancha Windmill Spain Travel Nikon
Made it just in time for a late sunset at Molino Rucio

Cordoba – the co-evolution of Islamic past and Christian present

DNXB dongnanxibei Cindy Cordoba Patio Garden Andalusia Andalucia Spain Travel South Seville
One of many well-tended patios of Cordoba
Mystical colors of Mesquita Cordoba

Seville/Sevilla – flamenco by night, Alcazar by day

A dazzling performance at La Casa del Flamenco
DNXB dongnanxibei fountain Seville Sevilla Alcazar Moorish
Fountains of the Sevilla Alcazar

Gibraltar – the British are coming…or at least they won’t leave

DNXB dongnanxibei Rock Gibraltar Ape Monkey Barbary Masque Andalucia travel
A barbary masque sunbathing in disturbing pose
DNXB dongnanxibei Gibraltar Rock Spain Andalucia
View from top of the Rock of Gibraltar

Granada – Alhambra, “a pearl set in emeralds”

DNXB dongnanxibei Alhambra Moorish islamic art Nasrid Palaces Nazaries travel
Stunning carvings in plaster showing the pinnacle of Moorish Islamic art
DNXB dongnanxibei Alhambra Mirador San Nicolas Nicholas travel andalucia
A view of the “pearl set in emeralds” from Mirador San Nicolas

“Everything here appears calculated to inspire kind and happy feelings, for everything is delicate and beautiful. The very light falls tenderly from above, through the lantern of a dome tinted and wrought as if by fairy hands.” -Washington Irving, Tales of Alhambra

“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

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